An NHS Family Story – Ruth Stell

An NHS Family Story – Ruth Stell

From Germany to Okie Ruth Stell is NHS’s self-proclaimed “Cafeteria Lady.” If you’ve ever eaten in the NHS Cafeteria, you can’t miss her. She’s tall, speaks with an accent, and seems to never meet a stranger. Not only does she serve food, and bring joy to the eating experience, but she raises money to help feed hungry children in Cherokee County, a service close to her heart. Ruth was raised as a child in Bad Kissingen, Germany. Her Father was an engineer and her mother was the supervisor of housekeeping at the high-brow, Steinberger hotel. “It was a five-star hotel which was very picky,” said Ruth. “Can you imagine how she was at home? I have a little bit of that. I drive people crazy.” Her childhood was filled with family and travel, fishing with her dad or picking mushrooms and blueberries with her grandmother. “Because of dad’s job, he was always gone all over,” said Ruth. “Through him, I got to see Europe pretty good. We went to Paris and Italy and other places. I still have a friend I keep in touch with to this day that I met on the beach in Italy in the 60’s.” When Ruth completed school, at age 15, (the common age of school completion in Germany at the time), she wasn’t quite sure what to do with her life. When she turned 16, she was hired by the American Military as a Civilian employee and worked as a Candy Striper. “I was shy and they wanted me to go work in a different culture,” remembered Ruth. “I saw all those soldiers...